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Understanding the Social Value of Solar Energy Production in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area

Description

With an abundance of sunshine, the state of Arizona has the potential for producing large amounts of solar energy. However, in recent years Arizona has also become the focal point in a political battle to determine the value and future

With an abundance of sunshine, the state of Arizona has the potential for producing large amounts of solar energy. However, in recent years Arizona has also become the focal point in a political battle to determine the value and future of residential solar energy fees, which has critical implications for distributed generation. As the debate grows, it is clear that solar policies developed in Arizona will influence other state regulators regarding their solar rate structures and Net Energy Metering; however, there is a hindrance in the progress of this discussion due to the varying frameworks of the stakeholders involved. For this project, I set out to understand and analyze why the different stakeholders have such conflicting viewpoints. Some groups interpret energy as a financial and technological object while others view it is an inherently social and political issue. I conducted research in three manners: 1) I attended public meetings, 2) hosted interviews, and 3) analyzed reports and studies on the value of solar. By using the SRP 2015 Rate Case as my central study, I will discuss how these opposing viewpoints do or do not incorporate various forms of justice such as distributive, participatory, and recognition justice. In regards to the SRP Rate Case, I will look at both the utility- consumer relationship and the public meeting processes in which they interact, in addition to the pricing plans. This work reveals that antiquated utility structures and a lack of participation and recognition justice are hindering the creation of policy changes that satisfy both the needs of the utilities and the community at large.

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Date Created
2015-12

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Mitigating the detrimental impacts of solar PV penetration on electric power transmission systems

Description

At present, almost 70% of the electric energy in the United States is produced utilizing fossil fuels. Combustion of fossil fuels contributes CO2 to the atmosphere, potentially exacerbating the impact on global warming. To make the electric power system (EPS)

At present, almost 70% of the electric energy in the United States is produced utilizing fossil fuels. Combustion of fossil fuels contributes CO2 to the atmosphere, potentially exacerbating the impact on global warming. To make the electric power system (EPS) more sustainable for the future, there has been an emphasis on scaling up generation of electric energy from wind and solar resources. These resources are renewable in nature and have pollution free operation. Various states in the US have set up different goals for achieving certain amount of electrical energy to be produced from renewable resources. The Southwestern region of the United States receives significant solar radiation throughout the year. High solar radiation makes concentrated solar power and solar PV the most suitable means of renewable energy production in this region. However, the majority of the projects that are presently being developed are either residential or utility owned solar PV plants. This research explores the impact of significant PV penetration on the steady state voltage profile of the electric power transmission system. This study also identifies the impact of PV penetration on the dynamic response of the transmission system such as rotor angle stability, frequency response and voltage response after a contingency. The light load case of spring 2010 and the peak load case of summer 2018 have been considered for analyzing the impact of PV. If the impact is found to be detrimental to the normal operation of the EPS, mitigation measures have been devised and presented in the thesis. Commercially available software tools/packages such as PSLF, PSS/E, DSA Tools have been used to analyze the power network and validate the results.

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Date Created
2013

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Evaluation and mitigation of power system oscillations arising from high solar penetration

Description

An important operating aspect of all transmission systems is power system stability

and satisfactory dynamic performance. The integration of renewable resources in general, and photovoltaic resources in particular into the grid has created new engineering issues. A particularly problematic operating scenario

An important operating aspect of all transmission systems is power system stability

and satisfactory dynamic performance. The integration of renewable resources in general, and photovoltaic resources in particular into the grid has created new engineering issues. A particularly problematic operating scenario occurs when conventional generation is operated at a low level but photovoltaic solar generation is at a high level. Significant solar photovoltaic penetration as a renewable resource is becoming a reality in some electric power systems. In this thesis, special attention is given to photovoltaic generation in an actual electric power system: increased solar penetration has resulted in significant strides towards meeting renewable portfolio standards. The impact of solar generation integration on power system dynamics is studied and evaluated.

This thesis presents the impact of high solar penetration resulting in potentially

problematic low system damping operating conditions. This is the case because the power system damping provided by conventional generation may be insufficient due to reduced system inertia and change in power flow patterns affecting synchronizing and damping capability in the AC system. This typically occurs because conventional generators are rescheduled or shut down to allow for the increased solar production. This problematic case may occur at any time of the year but during the springtime months of March-May, when the system load is low and the ambient temperature is relatively low, there is the potential that over voltages may occur in the high voltage transmission system. Also, reduced damping in system response to disturbances may occur. An actual case study is considered in which real operating system data are used. Solutions to low damping cases are discussed and a solution based on the retuning of a conventional power system stabilizer is given in the thesis.

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Date Created
2015